Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Ascension of Christ: do we get the power?

A college student in our American Anglican Council Chapter here emailed me after reading some comments from the South Dakota Bishop nominating committee. Pretty much all of them expressed a desire for the church to grow (or at least stop shrinking) and several lamented the lack of young people (pretty common around the Episcopal organization).

Anyway, our Anglican student wrote:

" seems that TEC is so caught up in God is love, that they no longer see our God as an untamed power, one that we cannot control by our own wills or our views of right and wrong. I think when they talk about getting more youth they are failing to recognize that we cannot revitalize the youth without having them catch the fire of serving the Lord. We must bring the youth into a full and complete relationship with God and they cannot do that if they have an incorrect view of God."

God's power is so lacking in the Episcopal organization. Uninspired sermons (both in content and delivery) are the lifeless norm. Bloodless clergy and lay leaders predominate. Episcopal gatherings and meetings have a weary, draining effect on any who venture into them.

Meanwhile, one of the lessons for Ascension Day (the 40th day after Easter, when Jesus went up into heaven to prepare a place for us) is Ephesians 1:15-23...

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Power. Power. Power. Christ is filled with it, and he gives his fullness to his body on earth, the church. But the Episcopal organization continues to live out II Timothy 3:2-5...

People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

1 comment:

Alice C. Linsley said...

And in HIS power He grants gifts to His servants. So the Church is empowered, vital and growing, but unfaithful servants have no real power. Their appearance of power is the devil's enchantment.